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Archive for March, 2011

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is proud to announce the birth of a female Francois’ Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi). The baby, belonging to mother Sai, was born on February 8, 2011. The baby still has a bright orange coloring, making it easy to spot in the Langur exhibit, located inside the Discovery Center. The baby is held constantly by either her mother or Liang, another female Langur in the group. A male baby, born November 26, 2010, to a second female, is also within this group. This has been a successful year at the Zoo for Francois’ Langurs!

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Dr. Maria Spriggs, Veterinarian at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, recently returned from a trip to Prince William Sound. The Zoo is very pleased to support this conservation effort through the talent and work of Dr. Spriggs. We invite you to read the following summary of the project, written by Dr. Spriggs.

The goal of the project was to obtain liver biopsies from Harlequin ducks in Prince William Sound, Alaska, to find out if the ducks are still being exposed to oil from the Exxon Valdez spill that occurred in 1989. A group of biologists and me spent a week on a boat in the Sound capturing 45 Harlequin ducks. Half of the ducks were captured in un-oiled areas of the sound, and half from known oiled areas. We set up a surgery table under “field conditions” on the boat. Each duck was anesthetized with gas and a small liver biopsy was obtained. The biologists obtained various measurements and feather samples. They were released from the boat after fully recovering.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill is considered to be one of the worst environmental disasters caused by humans. Scientific studies on the long-term effects of the spill are ongoing. The results of this project (which has been collecting data for 20+years) provides data that can used to make legal and legislative decisions involving Exxon and the environment of the Sound. Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden generously supported this project in donating veterinary time and expertise. This project is an example of Mesker Park Zoo’s commitment to conservation of our national wildlife.

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Mandy Aders, ZooTeen

“Being a ZooTeen has been both an enjoyment and a privilege. The summer of 2010 was the first year I was eligible to volunteer at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. During the summer, one to two days a week I get to work with campers from ages 5-12; we get to go behind the scenes of the Zoo to see and learn new facts about different animals. My volunteer hours allow me to work with the animal ambassadors, such as goats, snakes, turtles, tortoises, rabbits, and more.

However, being a ZooTeen is not only during the summer; there are special events we can participate in through the school year, like Boo at the Zoo, Dora the Explorer, and Enrichment Day. Being a ZooTeen has taught me leadership skills, responsibility, good work ethics, and has been a lot of fun in doing so.” -Mandy Aders, ZooTeen

If you are interested in becoming a ZooTeen, there will be an information meeting in the Discovery Center on April 9 at 2 p.m. Visit http://www.meskerparkzoo.com/zooteens to download the 2011 ZooTeen Application Packet. Applications are due April 22. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Meier at (812) 435-6143 ext. 408 or mmeier@meskerparkzoo.com.

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Zoo Officials believe that Orchid Escape has helped Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden achieve the highest February attendance in Zoo history. During the course of February, 5,880 guests visited the Zoo and the Orchid Escape exhibit, beating all previous February attendance records. In comparison, these numbers topped the previous February attendance record by 55%. Hundreds of rare and unusual South American orchids are now adorning AMAZONIA during Orchid Escape, taking place through this Saturday, March 12. There is no additional charge for Zoo visitors to view Orchid Escape.

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 AM – 5 PM, entry gate closes at 4 PM. Admission for adults is $8.50 and children ages 3-12 are $7.50. Children under 2 and under are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive $1 discount. Please visit http://www.meskerparkzoo.com for information regarding yearly memberships or other Zoo services.

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